Stephen Mack remembers the conversation well. He had traveled to his parents’ home for Thanksgiving and was talking with his father, John Mack, the former chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the elder Mack mentioned something about the financial services firm that was 'kind of confidential', Stephen said.
Stephen steeled himself and began, 'While we’re on the topic of sharing things…'. Then, he told his father he was gay.
Learning that a child is gay prompts change in any families. But when Dad is a CEO, the revelation can have effects far outside the family unit. Bosses who thought infrequently, if ever, about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues have a new perspective on diversity initiatives at their businesses, and sometimes become activists–in a similar way, research has shown male CEOs with young daughters often champion pay equity for women. Drawing on firsthand experiences with their children and their children’s gay peers, businessmen like Mack say they increasingly take a more personal view on inclusive workplace policies.
Three pairs of fathers and sons shared their stories last week at the fourth annual Out on the Street leadership summit for the finance industry in New York.
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